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Too Many Celebrities Either Didn’t Understand Or Ignored This Year’s Met Gala Theme

"You get two types of people at the Met Gala. You get the people who want to look cute and then you've got the people who want to go on theme."

On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed the Met Gala. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

Listen on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts. You can also find BuzzFeed Daily wherever else you might listen to your favorite podcasts!

So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to Jamé Jackson about everything from elitism to our favorite looks at the Met Gala. Here's some of what we learned:

BuzzFeed Daily: It's been more than two years since the last Met Gala. What did it feel like to watch the coverage last night?

Lil Nas X at the 2021 Met Gala
Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Jamé Jackson: You know, I've been covering the Met Gala for years, and it's always a fun thing to kind of bring the community together and watch it together like this year. I think because everyone was home, people didn't have nothing else to do. So everybody was like, "Let me see what's going on on Twitter. Let me see what Vogue is streaming." And, you know, this is the first year that they kind of made a lot of things more public, whether it was Fashion Week or was the Met Gala. So I think that the community kind of came together in a way that we don't get to normally see. And so it was really fun.

Let me just tell you guys, I was cracking up all night, the references, the questions. We just had a lot of questions and not a lot of answers, okay? And so it was it was an experience, but much like the pandemic and everything else that we have endured since like 2019, we're all going through this together. We're just all on this journey together. So it was a lot of laughs.

BuzzFeed Daily: Well, I want to talk about some of the trends — not just in what styles people were wearing, because I definitely think that we saw some trends there — but in who was actually at the Gala this year. We saw a lot of social media stars and influencers, people like Addison Rae and Emma Chamberlain, even one of the Try Guys, Eugene Lee Yang, was there. And a lot of the old school stiff fashion community didn't really vibe with this. So, does it feel like there was an intentional shift this year?

Billie Eilish at the 2021 Met Gala
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

JJ: You know, it's really weird because working in the industry, this has been the conversation we've been having for a long time, like even before the pandemic — about like kind of getting that new wave in of designers, new wave of influencers and people who are going to kind of just hold up the new guardrail when the Anna Wintours of the world are no longer here. I think that the pandemic kind of like slowed things down, and it's almost like ripping a Band-Aid off of a really nasty, gross cut. You get to really see a lot of the crap that's going on in there. But you also now have to finally confront everything for what it is. You can't just put it in like a cute outfit and send it down the runway — you have to be intentional about it now. 

So I wasn't surprised at all. I think that this is the wave of fashion. I think this is the next iteration of what we're going to see. But I think that surprised a lot of people just because we've all been in our house for so long, and then all of a sudden we had the Oscars of fashion night, and then they notice a whole bunch of Gen Z kids, in a bathroom taking selfies. It was definitely not surprising to me. 

But let me just say this. The Met Gala is nice, but it's still a business, right? It's a charity, but businesses are in the business of making money. And so she knows very strategically that you need people with a lot of staying power. Billie Eilish alone has over 90 million followers on Instagram. You need people there who are going to spread that word and that message because it builds that brand collateral. So I'm not mad at it. Get your money, sis.

BuzzFeed Daily: One thing that I did specifically love about the youth that was represented here is that I think that many of them took the most risks on the carpet. We had the hosts who were Timothée Chalamet, Naomi Osaka, Amanda Gorman, and Billy Eilish. But Naomi, she took risks with hers. Then we had Maisie Williams. She took a risk. And Lil Nas X, of course — yes, we already saw the Lady Gaga three-outfit reveal, but I wanted to see it again. Did you appreciate that? The people who took the risks? And did you notice that it was mostly coming from the younger generation?

Naomi Osaka at the 2021 Met Gala
James Devaney / GC Images

JJ: Absolutely. I mean, first of all, I just think the love and the power of Gen Z is just like their fluidity, right? It's not even just about sexuality. It's just like their ideas and their thoughts — they are not tied to one thing and they are willing to explore that in every medium. And I think that is so refreshing. My mouth dropped when I saw Naomi take like the carpet because I just thought to myself, This is what I want. I want that bigger, bolder go home kind of aesthetic that comes with the Met Gala.

You get two types of people at the Met Gala. You get the people who want to look cute and then you've got the people who want to go on theme. And it's really refreshing to see that someone is willing to get out of their comfort zone and to step into it. And again, I think that is why people like myself and others in the industry are really excited about once we're all out of the pandemic and we're all back outside fully and what the fashion industry is going to look like, because we have so many people who are willing to step out and try and do things that were not done before.

BuzzFeed Daily: Of course, there were some statements made through fashion, which is what the night is all about. So what did you think of AOC and Dan Levy's looks?

Dan Levy and AOC at the 2021 Met Gala
Kevin Mazur/MG21 / Getty Images For The Met Museum/Vogue

JJ: AOC caught quite a lot of backlash — it was a little hot for her last night. But there are a couple of things here with that. First of all, a lot of people are not aware that usually it's the designer, the brand, or the company who's fronting that $35K-bill to go to the Met Gala. Second of all, people forget it's a charity, right? So it's not like you're giving it to Anna Wintour herself — it's going to like a cause and that is a tax write off. And I think that she wanted to make a statement. She worked with Brother Veliz and Aurora James, who's the person also behind the 15 Percent Pledge. And so in many ways, you can make the argument that her look was great. She worked with a with a Black designer, a Black female designer who is a unicorn at this point in the fashion industry.

But at the same time, I'm very much a show-don't-tell kind of person. You know, there are ways that you can make that statement without necessarily wearing it on a dress. At the same time, we've seen it over years and years, people wearing their political agendas and their attire. And at the end of the day, fashion is political. 

It literally says "tax the rich." And I was like, "Girl, I'm here for it." At the same time, I also feel people who were like, "Girl, but you're sitting there with the rich." I was like, "Yeah, her $175K salary is not touching Jeff Bezos, you know? I think there are ranges and stuff here and that's a little different.

I personally really loved Dan Levy's look, because when you get into the history and the details of the look, you're learning more about like just queer representation. You're thinking about like the lives that have been lost simply due to sexual identity and trying to hold space in this world. I think that it's really interesting that Dan stepped out of their normal comfort zone. You know, we're used to seeing them more silhouetted, like Tom Brown fashion looks and now we got to play with color. We played with puffs. I remember a few years ago actually writing about camp for BuzzFeed and talking about the Met Gala. It really was one of those opportunities that I wanted to say that fashion has been fun and but it also has been a political way for people to share and hold space in this world. And so it was really exciting to see them represent that in their outfit and kind of make that statement in a way that it wasn't understated, it wasn't overstated. But it actually sent a message, I think, in a more effective way than AOC's.

Jennifer Aniston continues her reign as Hollywood’s queen of COVID precautions.

Jennifer Aniston wearing a face mask outside
Rb / GC Images

A month after revealing she’d cut ties with the unvaccinated people in her life, she told Jimmy Kimmel that even though the Friends reunion special was nominated for multiple Emmy awards, she wouldn’t be attending the ceremony.Jennifer added that even being on Jimmy’s show live, as opposed to over Zoom, was a quote “big step” for her.

Speaking of celebs skipping events because of COVID, Nicki Minaj caused quite the commotion on Twitter when she revealed that she wouldn’t be attending the Met Gala.

My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied

Twitter: @NICKIMINAJ

Just hours before the event started, she tweeted: “They want you to get vaccinated for the Met. if I get vaccinated it won’t [be] for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research. I’m working on that now.”

Additionally, earlier in the day she’d tweeted that she recently got COVID while shooting a video, and that Drake told her he’d gotten COVID even after getting the vaccine.

She also related a story about a friend of her cousin who got the vaccine and quote “became impotent” with swollen testicles, weeks before he was supposed to get married — despite there being no evidence that the vaccine affects fertility, male or otherwise.

As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at daily@buzzfeed.com or on Twitter @BuzzFeedDaily.

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